Proposed chicken rendering plant in Gadsden could come to end after FAA response

Local News
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) – Plans for the proposed chicken rendering plant by the company Pilgrims Pride in Gadsden could be coming to an end after the FAA’s response to elected leaders’ and citizens’ complaints.

The Federal Aviation Agency stated in a letter to Congressman Robert Aderholt, building a plant like that near the airport is unsafe and can be hazardous to the wildlife in the area.

Congressman Aderholt believes after such a response, the plan is essentially dead, but the FAA is still open to the plans as of now. Many in the community who have opposed this from the beginning are cautiously optimistic about Wednesday’s news.

“Getting some movement on this where people are kind of willing to put this thing to bed,” Attorney Christie Knowles told CBS 42.

Knowles says many in the community have complained about the plant for months.

“Both with the odor and just the transport of 120 trucks a day of this sort of organic raw chicken parts into our county,” Knowles said.

“It’s not often 99.99% of the community is unified. You know, Alabama and Auburn football, or whatever, is never fully unified on anything,” D-10 Senator Andrew Jones said.

A representative from Pilgrims Pride says they don’t have a comment at this time.

The city of Gadsden tells CBS 42 they have seen the release from Congressman Aderholt and will be further reviewing it and the documents associated with it.

“Essentially, the leaders would understand that it would be irresponsible and negligent and an officiary problem to continue on,” Knowles said.

Senator Jones says there is still a meeting on Friday with the Gadsden Airport Authority, Pilgrims Pride, and the organization against the plant even after the FAA’s response. He says the plan is still somewhat alive, but barely.

“It’s continued to kind of being a zombie that’s managed to shift and stay alive in some ways,” Jones said.

And those still opposed hope the airport authority will listen to them and the FAA on this case.

“You know, our local officials could step up to the plate and end this now. We hope they choose to do that,” Knowles said.

The meeting is set for 12:00 p.m. on Friday at the Venue in Gadsden.

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